Top 10 Three-Wheeled Vehicles



Three is an odd number. Both mathematically and engineering-wise. With four wheels you have a stable vehicle platform. With two wheels you have a vehicular platform which can lean into corners. With three wheels you have neither – normally. However that hasn’t stopped both small-volume manufacturers and home-builders from creating a variety of three-wheeled oddities. Hand-picked from both the concept world and the ‘real world’, here are ten of the best trikes out there.

 

Volkswagen GX3

Volkswagen GX3
The Volkswagen GX3 concept which debuted at the 2006 Los Angeles Motor Show is an advanced concept Volkswagen initially declared a production possibility – depending on the reaction of the American public. Although later it was announced that safety and insurance concerns were too great to allow the GX3 to enter production. Such a shame as it would have been one of the most revolutionary sports vehicles to come from a major manufacturer in years. Volkswagen GX3

 

SUB G1

SUB G1
The SUB G1 is a 3 wheeled sports vehicle which was first unveiled in April 2005. The company is run by three design professionals, and that shows in both the quality of the vehicles appearance and engineering. Power for the SUB G1 comes from a 1000cc Suzuki V-Twin taken from the Suzuki TL1000R sportsbike. Developing 135 horsepower and 105 Nm of torque, the engine is force-fed by the noticeable snorkel sitting above the bodywork. Transmission is handled by a 6 speed sequential gearbox connected to the rear wheel by a chain. SUB G1

 

Mazda Kaan

Mazda Kaan
One of the more ‘out there’ designs on the list, the Mazda Kaan is a concept in every sense of the word. The Mazda Kaan was created for the 2008 LA Auto Show Design Challenge. The 2008 design brief called for a racing car for the year 2025. The Mazda Kaan is an electric race car designed to compete in E1 racing, a conceptual race series Mazda dreamt up. But still that doesn’t stop the Kaan from being one sleek-looking reverse trike. Mazda Kaan

 

Morgan Three Wheeler

Morgan Three Wheeler
The retro-styled Morgan Three Wheeler is like nothing else. Strangely though the design isn’t new – but it was resurrected only last year. Morgan’s original Three Wheeler went out of production way back in 1953! The engine in the new Morgan Three Wheeler is a 1.8 litre V-twin sourced from Harley-Davidson, while the 5-speed gearbox is borrowed from Mazda. A sturdy tubular frame and two rollover bars surround the passenger compartment. An aerodynamic, bullet-shaped body partially protects the occupants from the wind and weather. Morgan Three Wheeler

 

Peugeot 20Cup

Peugeot 20Cup
Peugeot’s gorgeous 20Cup concept was unveiled at the 2005 Frankfurt motor show. For a short while rumors were floating around that the company might have the guts to take it all the way to production. But those soon fizzled out. Instead it became a dead-end prototype leaving enthusiasts wondering “what if”. Peugeot 20Cup

 

Grinnall Scorpion III

Grinnall Scorpion III
The Grinnall Scorpion III is one of the few three-wheeled sports ‘cars’ which are available to buy. The UK manufacturer fabricates a spaceframe chassis, stuffs a BMW K series motorcycle engine in, and then covers it in a surprisingly good-looking fiberglass body. Power outputs range from 90 to 130 horsepower. Grinnall Scorpion

 

Carver One

Carver One
The Carver One is one of the few three-wheeled vehicles to tackle the problem of stability by incorporating a complicated leaning mechanism. The Carver One story started out so promisingly. It was well-built, fun to drive, received praise from the likes of Jenson Button and Jeremy Clarkson, and a worldwide dealership network was being put in place. The first customers started receiving their Carvers in 2006. But in 2009 the party was over as the company was forced to file for bankruptcy. A sad day for three-wheel enthusiasts indeed. Carver One

 

Epic EV Torq

Epic EV Torq
The Epic EV Torq is the only electric-powered vehicle on the list. But that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in oomph. It’s powered along by a 200hp electric motor which is fed by 30 kWh lithium iron phosphate batteries mounted in the center of the vehicle. It’s by no means a looker. But if electric-powered three-wheelers are your thing you don’t have much of a choice. Epic EV Torq

 

Citroen E-3 Pod Antistatic

Citroen E-3POD Antistatic
The Citroen E-3 Pod Antistatic definitely takes the top spot for most unconventional layout for a three-wheeled vehicle. The driver literally sits inside the large central rear wheel. The concept was created by Royal College of Art student Heikki Juvonen as part of an officially sanctioned Citroen project. The brief was to create a ultra-compact vehicle with a unique aesthetic for Citroen’s future. Job done I think. Citroen E-3 Antistatic

 

Blastolene Rocket II

Blastolene Rocket II
The Blastolene Rocket II could quite easily be a conceptual vehicle, a movie prop, or a static sculpture. But it’s not. It’s a fully-functioning, road legal 1000 horsepower HEMI V8 powered behemoth of a trike. The Blastolene Rocket II is owned by Tim Cotterill a Englishman living in Santa Cruz, California. Top speed of the Rocket II is estimated at 200mph. But the fastest its ever gone so far is 160mph. Blastolene Rocket II

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Image Credits:
Top image by Nuno Carreira



8 Comments

  1. Excellent set of concepts, particularly the Citroen E3, though forward vision’s a bit of a problem!

    As for the Morgan, I had an old-style one many years ago, and perhaps foolishly let a friend behind the wheel for a quick spin.

    He turned sharp left at the bottom of a hill, Morgan spun upside-down, straddled a ditch. Luckily my chum fell straight out into the stream underneath.

    It was a lightweight little thing, and four of us with a rope soon had it out. Total damage was a collection of dings and scrapes, plus a wodge of embarrassment from the driver.

    Easy to do though – I hope they’ve tamed this supercute new one!

  2. I would like to see an engineers report on the merits of the one wheel forward two whels rear chassis compared to the two wheels forward config. in relation to stability, acceleration and engine position.

  3. Helloing to your discussion. I am a Morgan enthusiast. Had 2 many years ago. living in New Zealand,now, there doesn’t seem to much in that line except fot quod bikes & farm bikes Not sure of Registering them in NZ. I did like the Bond Bug. set up pity it didn’t have the engine across the rear axle for stability. as 1 in front not too cleaver if one wants to dice it up a bit EH> So what can we look forward to in years to come.??? unfortunatly the new Mogy 3 wheeler is to expensive for the likes of me. Also whats news about electric cars ?? I see they are making one in Canada called a ZENN car. be good with 3 wheels perhaps. ????? !!!!!!!! looking forward to comments cheers Ivor W

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